‘Civility’ is a loaded word, and we need it more than ever | Eli Pariser

‘Civility’ is a loaded word, and we need it more than ever | Eli Pariser

There’s been a big conversation about civility
and the need for civility online, and I actually kind of don’t love that word because often
what it means to people is kind of respect for the norms or the authority of a group
that’s in power. And so it’s often the case in society that
rabble-rousers and people who are lower on the power spectrum are seen as being uncivil. And, in fact, if you look back at the civil
rights movement or a lot of the most important movements in American history that expanded
peoples dignity and agency, they were seen at the time as kind of, like, impolite. And so there’s a danger with civility that
it’s essentially saying like, it’s essentially code for let’s just kind of keep things as
it is and keep whoever is powerful in society in power. I think the other meaning beneath it, though,
that I think is really important is kind of this idea of human dignity and respect. And that, I think, is critical, and it has
been really lost from so much of our online conversation. And it’s partly this kind of humble feeling
of, I only have part of the truth. I can be wrong, and I need other people to
help me find a better view of the world. And if I put my piece of the truth together
with your’s, maybe we’ll, like, figure out something together. I think part of it is a sense that within
each human being is something that is uniquely precious and that it’s our job when relating
to people to try to find that thing and understand that thing and protect that thing. And that’s what makes us human. And so, how can we have a conversation where
that’s kind of the starting point rather than the sort of starting out assuming the worst
of each other. And so I think that, you know, how do we bring
that sense of respect for each others, you know, the amazing thing that it is to be a
unique human individual back into this context where we’re encouraged to see each other as
little tiny icons and as like reduced stereotypes of each other. That seems like the critical threshold to

39 thoughts on “‘Civility’ is a loaded word, and we need it more than ever | Eli Pariser

  1. Oh look. Another person telling me what "we" need. Thanks for being needy, Eli. The world could surely use more needy people.

  2. Thought I'd save you all some time by quoting Wikipedia: "Eli Pariser is the chief executive of Upworthy, a website for "meaningful" viral content. He is a left-wing political and internet activist, the board president of MoveOn org and a co-founder of Avaaz org."

    Enough said…

  3. The Atlantic council is literally telling Facebook what to do. You know the people that got us into the Vietnam War via a false flag in the Gulf of Tonkin. We need to utilize peer-to-peer technology and let these monolithic fucking dinosaurs die!

  4. The big think? You just gave a big nothing sandwich with a misleading title. The double meaning of civility matters, but only to a point? I wasted precious brain cells on this video.

  5. Maybe try a social platform with video chat instead of text if you want anything useful to come out. And God I don't mean instagram. I don't know what that creature of death is.

  6. Civility would be the forced removal of wannabe fascist dictator from office as He went on record that he would break the law yesterday. How about a little JUSTICE?

  7. Civility as it means human dignity… Ofcourse we Need it.. The problem is we respect people with talent or money and not those who are pure n simple..

  8. In my experience, online conversations of contentious topics only remain civil when there is means of censoring or reprimanding people who are disruptive or disrespectful, particularly if the participants are anonymous. People bristle at their speech being restricted but conversations are more productive if participants adhere to certain rules of conduct.

  9. To my mind, 'civility' has always meant being respectful and polite towards others – regardless of differences.

  10. Civility – integrity and a moral compass to treat others well, so that you can be treated likewise.

  11. We should all respect each other BUT there are people in social media that want to cause discord and divide us. The best way I've round to do this is simply asked them if they are making a claim to provide you what their sources are and to present evidence to back their claims. This means links to articles that prove the claim or a valid proof depending upon the nature of the claim. Most people who are trying to spread discorse or just repeating what they've heard can't do this. So point that out when they fail so they know and others know they are not someone to take seriously.

    If they do provide sources for their claims with links to articles then it is your job to assess if the sources are credible and the links are verifiable. If not them you can dismiss it but give your reasons and ask for them to provide something that is verifiable. Chances are they can't if they are just spreading discourse.

    If by chance their sources are credible and the evidence is varifiable then you can have a civil conversation and also be prepared to consider that they might be right or that there is enough for you to question you views enough to look further into it. You should also be able to present the same type of info if you make a claim.

    The more we all (both sides) start requesting that people back their claims with facts the more both sides will be better off. FACTS matter and lead to truth. Alternative Facts are just LIES and will never lead to the truth.

  12. Another example of: When you can't win an argument, re-define the words until your statements are correct.
    That people treat others with civility is a hallmark of civilization. (actually from whence the term derives). When people act savagely toward each other, they are savages; barbaric actors are called barbarians.
    Civil people spurn the uncivil because civilization has its own inherent value.


    1) courtesy; politeness.

    2) a polite action or expression (dictionary.com)

    1) a: civilized conduct
    , especially : COURTESY, POLITENESS
    b : a polite act or expression

    2) archaic : training in the humanities (merriam-webster.com)

    1) politeness or courtesy, esp when formal

    2) (often plural) an act of politeness (Collins English Dictionary)

    1) respect for the norms or authority of a group that's in power
    2) People lower on the power spectrum are seen as being uncivil (Eli Pariser)

    Can we see where he has diverged?
    The thing is, I don't actually disagree with his general point or his stated values. It's the unstated values and viewpoints I detest (his argument is in the kyriarchy, a.k.a. intersectionalism), an underlying value of his argument.
    The dishonest argumentation is a burr under the saddle that I'd rather do without. As an individualist, I cannot be on-board with his politics-of-privilege.

    A for effort, BigThink, the identitarians you're bringing on board are getting better (at being covertly subversive).

  13. I agree about trying not to see each other as reduced stereotypes. This is one of the main reasons I oppose SJW's. They act as though all women have this opinion, and all people of color have that opinion. They completely strip the individuals out of the people they claim to represent, and in doing so are hypocritically the most racist and most sexist people I have encountered.

  14. Civility is 100% garbage. We dont need it at all. Forget basic human dignity and respect. It wont help us. Grow a thick skin and let's really have an argument. Fuck your feelings. I dont need to respect you to understand I may be wrong in my position and may learn something from you. I've learned plenty of things from people I dont respect. Take your respect and shove it. "Civility is overrated." -Christopher Hitchens

  15. 1 Minute just to teach the audience the "correct" interpretation and calling what it meant for hundreds of years beneath. Also I recognize how hard it was to not call the majority and its way of living simply what it is. Masquerading becomes all so much harder, huh? I'm afraid this trend is going to continue. Be well and may you reap what you sow. Interesting times aheag, for sure.

  16. Civility is overrated. Civilty tends to take precedence over honesty which is far more destructive than being a little rude on occasion.

  17. How is it you talk about humility, while also push entitlement and counter culture? Respect is earned, not given because you're alive and thus deserve to be respected. Civility is literally to be civil, which is based on social norms. I understand anarchists hate social norms and anything that allows humans to interact, but civility isn't loaded simply because it's based on what's socially acceptable in a society. Social contracts are what allow humans to interact, social contracts are what allow languages to work at all, words have meanings because we all agree that they have meanings. If you're a counter culture group going against established social norms, then you're in fact not using civility, and you're literally not following cultural norms. Just because counter culture is growing in popularity as the tool of the left to bring down our country, doesn't mean that it's right. There's a big difference between everyone having the right to vote, and people having the right to force their views on everyone else but call it diversity and equality. I do agree though, we need more civility, we see how things are going as we try and push further and further from any type of social contract.

  18. LET ME TELL YA SOMETHING THERE DUDE, You have to earn to be civil with me. Too many assholes out there that broke my trust! Seriously! So this video should be entitled "How Not To Be An Asshole"! bluepitt.com

  19. The expression "loaded word" is loaded, alright – of bullshit. He goes on about "deference to authorithy" and "respect", but to me really "civility" is an euphemism for "politeness (according to social conventions)" – i.e., a form of virtue signaling/grandstanding/whatever the speakers in this channel wanna call it, and as such I can't be bothered to comply to it. The more abstract sense of "compliance to norms (such as those that enforce freedom of speech, etc.)" I think more worthwhile, and perhaps a distinction in use could be to reserve this more abstract sense to, say, the word "urbanity" (fun fact: check out the etymology of both)

  20. "Civility is overrated!" Christopher Hitchens in some debate (do not remember which one, too lazy to look up, but it is on youtube)

  21. Hey big think.. how about doing a video on overpopulation… it's effect on the planet and other species… and it's effects of the civility ' of our societies.
    Mid that up with all the economic migrants who often aren't the most educated… and it's clash in multicultural societies and neighbourhoods.

  22. "I don't like the word civility, because it's essentially code for . . ."
    Eff that. If you see coded messages in common words, the problem is with you, not the person saying it.

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